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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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but this can only be in the technical sense again; we
cannot pretend that he is a spotless saint. That is why
we must go further than Lord Acton, who was inclined
to feel that all the great men of history were bad men.
If we want human responsibility we can only save it by
something like the general dogma that levels all menó
the doctrine that all are sinners, all are responsible for
not being better than they are. In other words, none
is completely excused if he has allowed even a bad
education or the most adverse circumstances to corrupt
his character. None is completely free and unconfined,
but none is to be regarded as the absolute slave of

The principles that have been put forward would have
to be defended in the last resort on the ground that
these, and nothing less than these, enable us to do full
justice'to the authenticity of other people's personalities
in a world where we cannot see inside other people.
The theses would be inescapable if one went further and
accepted the ultimate principle that no law of God or
man, and no alleged utility, can supersede the law or
transcend the utility of extending charity to all men, or
can set imaginable limits to the law of charity.

Supposing, however, that these statements of principle
fail to win acceptance, it may be pointed out that the
issue with which we are concerned does not require that
we shall commit ourselves to them at the moment. As
a view of life they may be brushed aside, but the matter
which does immediately concern us is the fact that in any
case we must still adopt this point of view and transfer
it into the very structure of our story of the past, the